Dennis Dorn’s recent letter raises important issues about parking in Cooperstown’s downtown on Main and Pioneer streets, where paid parking is in effect Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
There has been some confusion about the paid parking; specifically the provisions that are designed to ease the burden for locals. Those who need to run quick errands will find that designated 15-minute spaces continue to be free of charge. Designated handicapped spaces are also free, as is parking before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Those who plan to frequent downtown may wish to purchase a parking permit, which will allow up to two hours of on-street parking without having to pay an additional fee or walk back and forth to a machine. Permits can be purchased for $25 at the village office at 22 Main St. during business hours. The application must be accompanied by the vehicle registration; the permit will be mailed to the address on the registration.
For all others, the 13 machines on Main and Pioneer streets are now programmed so parking can be purchased in 15-minute increments. The minimum charge using coins is 50 cents; the minimum credit card charge is $2.
Those who frequent Cooperstown know the infrastructure needs; our streets and sidewalks need work. A population of less than 2,000 must support the wear and tear of hundreds of thousands of visitors. Paid parking is one of the few ways the village can oblige tourists to contribute to the maintenance of the infrastructure they use. In instituting paid parking, the trustees made provisions to ensure that locals can continue to shop downtown but won’t have to shoulder all the costs for needed improvements.
Falk is a village of Cooperstown trustee and chairwoman of the streets and buildings committee.